With arguably the strongest squad within the match, Belgium are anticipated to contend for the title.
Belgium World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Information
Belgium vs France – Semi-Last (10th July) – Saint Petersburg
Belgium vs Brazil – Quarter Last (sixth July) – Kazan Match Report
Match preview right here.
Belgium Beginning XI: 1 Thibaut Courtois, 2 Toby Alderweirald, Four Vincent Kompany, 5 Jan Vertonghen, 6 Axel Witsel, 7 Kevin De Bruyne, eight Marouane Fellaini, 9 Romelu Lukaku (17 Youri Tielemans 87), 10 Eden Hazard, 15 Thomas Meunier, 22 Nacer Chadli (2 Thomas Vermaelen 83)
Brazil Beginning XI: 1 Alisson, 2 Thiago Silva, Three Miranda, 9 Gabriel Jesus (7 Douglas Costa 58), 10 Neymar, 11 Philippe Coutinho, 12 Marcelo, 15 Paulinho (eight Renato Augusto 73), 17 Fernandinho, 19 Willian (20 Roberto Firmino 46), 22 Fagner
Brazil 1 Belgium 2
Brazil: Renato Augusto 76
Belgium: Fernandhinho 13og, De Bruyne 31
Belgium reached their second ever World Cup semi-final after an enthralling sport in Kazan. Brazil had no reply to the Belgian entrance three of Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard and although they mounted a spirited second-half comeback couldn’t forestall their exit from the match.
Brazil had good probabilities from two corners within the first 10 minutes however Thiago Silva and Paulinho each fluffed their strains. As an alternative it was Belgium who took the lead from a nook, Vincent Kompany’s header deflecting in off the unlucky Fernandinho.
Brazil had been with out the suspended Casemiro and Belgium, with Marouane Fellaini introduced in to bolster midfield, received the central battle towards Fernandinho and Paulinho. That allowed De Bruyne to thrive in additional ahead function and he scored an exquisite second purpose when Belgium broke at velocity following a Brazil nook.
The second-half introduction of Roberto Firmino and Douglas Costa gave Brazil extra goal within the last third and their final sub, Renato Augusto, made an instantaneous affect when his header introduced Brazil again into the sport.
Renato Augusto and Coutinho missed probabilities to take the match into additional time, and when Thibaut Courtois saved brilliantly from Coutinho in stoppage time, Brazil’s time on the match was up.
Matter of reality
This was the primary time Brazil have conceded two targets in a sport below Tite.
Brazil had been aggrieved when Vincent Kompany tripped Gabriel Jesus however VAR dominated out the penalty. Neymar additionally had a late attraction turned down when he missed a header below Thomas Meunier’s problem; earlier Brazil’s quantity 10 ought to have been booked for a dive within the penalty space, however a reserving would have dominated him out of a semi-final.
Possession (%): 57/43
Aim makes an attempt: 26/7
Makes an attempt heading in the right direction: eight/Three
Cross accuracy (%): 88/83
Distance lined (km): 104/105
Belgium vs Japan – Spherical of 16 (2nd July), Rostov-on-Don – Match Report
Belgium Beginning XI: 1 Thibaut Courtois, 2 Toby Alderweirald, Four Vincent Kompany, 5 Jan Vertonghen, 6 Axel Witsel, 7 Kevin De Bruyne, 9 Romelu Lukaku, 10 Eden Hazard, 11 Yannick Carrasco (22 Nacer Chadli 65), 14 Dries Mertens (eight Marouane Fellaini 65), 15 Thomas Meunier
Japan Beginning XI: 1 Eiji Kawashina, Three Gen Shoji, 5 Yuto Nagatomo, 7 Gaku Shibasaki (16 Hotaru Yamaguchi 81), eight Genki Haraguchi (Four Keisuke Honda 81), 10 Shinji Kagawa, 14 Takeshi Inui, 15 Yuya Osako, 17 Makoto Hasebe, 19 Hiroki Sakai, 22 Maya Yoshida
Belgium Three Japan 2
Belgium: Vertonghen 69, Fellaini 74, Chadli 90+Four
Japan: Haraguchi 48, Inui 52
Belgium staged some of the astonishing comebacks ever seen at a World Cup to recuperate from 2-Zero right down to beat Japan Three-2 and arrange a quarter-final towards Brazil.
Japan stunned Belgium within the first half by urgent excessive up the pitch and denying the favourites time and area. Fears that Japan won’t maintain their degree of stress after the break had been blown away in 4 unimaginable minutes when Japan twice surprised Belgium.
After Eden Hazard hit a publish and Romelu Lukaku headed extensive from shut vary, it seemed as if Belgium had been heading out. However a double substitution restored the stability to the Belgian midfield in a panoramic last half-hour, when Marouane Fellaini and Jan Vertonghen each scored.
Regardless of shedding their two-goal lead, Japan pushed for the win till the top, opening themselves up for the counter-attack and Belgium scored with the final transfer of the sport.
Matter of reality
The final time a aspect got here from 2-Zero right down to win within the knockout levels in regular time was West Germany towards Hungary within the 1954 Last.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez made essential substitutions that modified the sport. Marouane Fellaini introduced extra phyicality the Belgian midfield, permitting Kevin De Bruyne to play additional ahead, whereas Nacer Chadli scored the dramatic winner.
Possession (%): 56/44
Aim makes an attempt: 24/11
Makes an attempt heading in the right direction: 10/Four
Cross accuracy (%): 87/83
Distance lined (km): 108/109
Belgium vs England (28th June) Match Report
Match preview right here.
Belgium Beginning XI: 1 Thibaut Courtois, Three Thomas Vermaelen (Four Vincent Kompany 74), eight Marouane Fellaini, 16 Thorgan Hazard, 17 Youri Tielemans, 18 Adnan Januzaj (14 Dries Mertens 86), 19 Mousa Dembele, 20 Dedryck Boyata, 21 Michy Batshuayi, 22 Nacer Chadli, 23 Leander Dendoncker
England Beginning XI: 1 Jordan Pickford, Three Danny Rose, Four Eric Dier, 5 John Stones (6 Harry Maguire 46), 11 Jamie Vardy, 15 Gary Cahill, 16 Phil Jones, 17 Fabian Delph, 19 Marcus Rashford, 21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22 Trent Alexander-Arnold (14 Danny Welbeck 79)
England Zero Belgium 1
Belgium: Januzaj 51
An excellent purpose from Adnan Januzaj sealed victory for Belgium, who claimed high place within the group however had been additionally handed a probably trickier path to the knockout stage’s later rounds.
With each groups already certified for the final 16, reserve gamers bought their alternative to shine; Belgium made 9 adjustments to England’s eight.
It was a extra intense contest than some had predicted however probabilities had been few and much between. Belgium’s gamers seemed the extra comfy and Januzaj claimed the sport’s solely purpose when he tricked his manner inside left-back Danny Rose and fired previous Jordan Pickford.
England’s finest likelihood fell to Marcus Rashford, whose shot was tipped extensive by Thibaut Courtois.
Matter of reality
This was England’s first defeat for 12 months below Southgate.
Did they or didn’t they? Belgium coach Roberto Martinez had admitted “the precedence was to not win” however his bench celebrated with Gusto when Januzaj scored.
Possession (%): 48/52
Aim makes an attempt: 13/15
Makes an attempt heading in the right direction: 7/Four
Cross accuracy (%): 86/88
Distance lined (km): 109/106
Belgium vs Tunisia (23rd June) Match Report
Match preview right here
Belgium Beginning XI: 1 Thibaut Courtois, 2 Toby Alderweirald, 5 Jan Vertonghen, 6 Axel Witsel, 7 Kevin De Bruyne, 9 Romelu Lukaku (eight Marouane Fellaini 59), 10 Eden Hazard (21 Michy Batshuayi 68), 11 Yannick Carrasco, 14 Dries Mertens (17 Youri Tielemans 86), 15 Thomas Meunier, 20 Dedryck Boyata
Tunisia Beginning XI: 1 Farouk Ben Mustapha, 2 Syam Ben Youssef (Three Yohan Benalouane 41), Four Yassine Meriah, 7 Saif Khaoui, eight Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, 9 Anice Badri, 10 Wahbi Khazri, 11 Dylan Bronn (21 Hamdi Naguez 24), 12 Ali Maaloul, 13 Ferjani Sassi (23 Naim Sliti 60), 17 Ellyes Skhiri
Belgium 5 Tunisia 2
Belgium: Hazard 6, 51, Lukaku 16, 45+Three, Batshuayi 90
Tunisia: Bronn 17, Khazri 90+Three
Belgium reached the knockout stage in model, ripping by way of a fragile Tunisia defence because of targets from Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Michi Batshuayi.
Tunisia misplaced two defenders to harm within the first half and left loads of area for Belgium to take advantage of as they tried to get again within the sport. Substitute Batshuayi noticed three probabilities cleared off the road earlier than scoring Belgium’s fifth purpose.
Matter of reality
For the primary time in World Cup historical past, the primary 27 video games of the match all featured targets.
Romelu Lukaku, with 4 targets, grew to become Belgium’s high scorer at a World Cup however was taken off after an hour earlier than he had an opportunity to finish his hat-trick. His departure prompted hypothesis that he is perhaps rested for the ultimate group sport towards England.
Possession (%): 52.48
Aim makes an attempt: 25/15
Makes an attempt heading in the right direction: eight/6
Cross accuracy (%): 81/79
Distance lined (km): 104/102
Belgium vs Panama (18th June) Match Report
The famous person group of Belgium face lowly Panama in a sport everybody expects the Belgians to win. Match preview right here.
Belgium Beginning XI: 1 Thibaut Courtois, 2 Toby Alderweirald, 5 Jan Vertonghen, 6 Axel Witsel (22 Nacer Chadli 90), 7 Kevin De Bruyne, 9 Romelu Lukaku, 10 Eden Hazard, 11 Juan Carrasco (19 Mousa Dembele 74), 14 Dries Mertens (16 Thorgan Hazard 83), 15 Thomas Meunier, 20 Dedryck Boyata
Panama Beginning XI: 1 Jaime Penedo, 2 Michael Murillo, Four Fidel Escobar, 5 Roman Torres, 6 Gabriel Gomez, 7 Blas Perez (18 Luis Tejada 73), eight Edgar Barcenas (9 Gabriel Torres 63), 11 Armando Cooper, 15 Erick Davis, 20 Anibal Godoy, 21 Jose Luis Rodriguez (10 Ismael Diaz 63)
Belgium Three Panama Zero
Belgium: Mertens 47, Lukaku 69, 75
Belgium ultimately overran debutants Panama of their opening sport because of an improved second-half efficiency in Sochi.
Belgium had been torpid for a lot of the primary half, failing to press a well-organised, deep-lying Panamanian aspect. The breakthrough got here by way of a second of particular person brilliance from Dries Mertens shortly after the break.
Panama heads didn’t drop after conceding they usually had a number of probabilities earlier than two Romelu Lukaku targets confirmed the Belgian victory.
Matter of reality
Romelu Lukaku grew to become the primary Belgian to attain twice in a World Cup sport since Marc Wilmots in 1998.
Romulu Lukaku obtained little or no high quality service all through the match – except for two passes: one from De Bruyne for his headed purpose, the opposite from Hazard for his second, and Belgium’s third.
Possession (%): 61/39
Aim makes an attempt: 15/6
Makes an attempt heading in the right direction: 7/Four
Cross accuracy (%): 89/82
Distance lined (km): 102/100
Belgium World Cup Information
Belgium certified for the 2018 World Cup from a bunch the place Bosnia-Herzegovina had been their foremost rivals. They scored a file variety of targets, 43, whereas conceding solely six. But defensive issues stay and accidents to key gamers might result in catastrophe – simply as they did in France in 2016.
Key Moments in Qualifying
Belgium convincingly beat their foremost rivals Bosnia Four-Zero in Brussels.
Roberto Martinez omits Radja Nainggolan from his squad to satisfy Gibraltar and Greece, which causes a media frenzy.
Belgium beat Greece 2-1 in Athens and turn into the primary European group to qualify for Russia.
Belgium win Four-Three in Sarajevo after trailing Bosnia at half-time. Three days later, Belgium rating 4 towards Cyprus to equal Germany’s file for targets scored in a qualifying spherical.
Belgium World Cup Group
Belgium are the highest aspect in Group G. The opposite three are Panama, Tunisia, and England.
Belgium World Cup Friendlies
Belgium beat Saudi Arabia on the 27th March by 4 targets to nil. Then they performed Portugal, Egypt on the 2nd and sixth respectively drawing one and profitable the opposite. Costa Rica had been their last opponents they usually hammered them Four-1.
Belgium World Cup Fixtures
Belgium begin off their match towards Panama on the 18th of June. Tunisia observe 5 days later, and eventually they play England on the 28th June, which might probably be a pivotal match.
Roberto Martinez, age 44, (13.07.73)
Appointed in August 2016 with a contract operating to the top of 2018, he was one thing of a shock selection because the Royal Belgian Soccer Affiliation had needed a coach with worldwide expertise. Though his continental involvement was restricted to an Everton run within the Europa League, on the plus aspect he has intensive information of the Premier League, which is residence to half of the Belgian squad, and led Wigan Athletic to FA Cup success in 2013.
Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne are the highest canine, with Hazard captaining the aspect and receiving much more freedom below Martinez. However De Bruyne has not often reproduced his membership type and stays a global enigma.
Romelu Lukaku scored usually all through the marketing campaign, with different helpful purpose tallies coming from Dries Mertens and Thomas Meunier. Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are the important linchpins of the defence in entrance of keeper Thibaut Courtois. Axel Witsel presents stability in entrance of a again thee.
Vincent Kompany hardly figured within the marketing campaign, whereas Nainggolan was omitted from the squad for the ultimate 4 qualifying fixtures.
Leander Dendoncker made his full debut within the residence sport towards Estonia as a part of a again three. Youri Tielemans began his first aggressive worldwide towards Cyprus in October.
Belgium World Cup Squad
Last World Cup Squad –
GOALKEEPERS: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool).
DEFENDERS: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester Metropolis), Thomas Meunier (Paris St-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur).
MIDFIELDERS: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester Metropolis), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Actual Sociedad), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian).
FORWARDS: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).
Possible Beginning XI
Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Vincent Kompany (if match), Jan Vertonghen, Thomas Meunier, Mousa Dembele, Yannick Carrasco, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku,
Belgium World Cup Accidents
With Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi most likely going up entrance for Belgium, Christian Benteke could not function. Regardless he picked up an harm throughout coaching which can hold him out for a little bit of time.
Michy Batshuayi picked up an ankle harm, and but has nonetheless been named within the squad.
The Unanswered Questions
What’s the Plan B?
By switching to a Three-Four-2-1 set-up, Roberto Martinez has proven a component of tactical flexibility that predecessor Marc Wilmots lacked. However whereas this lined the paucity of high quality full-backs, it additionally revealed the dearth of a back-up – which could possibly be important if Belgium discover themselves being overrun in midfield towards a number of the match favourites.
Can Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen be relied upon in Russia?
The success of Martinez’s again three relies on the shape and health of Kompany, or as back-up, Vermaelen. Different candidates, akin to Laurent Ciman and Dedryck Boyota, are wanting worldwide high quality.
Will Radja Nainggolan return?
No is the easy reply right here. Martinez has by no means had a easy relationship with Nainggolan, who presents a physicality that’s missing in Belgium’s midfield. After harm pressured him out of current friendlies towards Japan and Mexico, Nainggolan had little time to persuade Martinez that he’s wanted. Consequently, Nainggolan has been omitted from the squad.
Will Kevin De Bruyne shine on the world stage?
De Bruyne has brazenly criticised Martinez’s techniques – which might be an indication of his frustration at the truth that he has not often seemed blissful on the worldwide stage. He thrives on accountability and it could possibly be that this has been in brief provide when he has worn a Belgium shirt.
A 2-1 win towards Costa Rica booked Panama’s…
Tunisia topped their African qualification group, narrowly holding…
England transfer into the spherical of 16 and…
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